Sen. Brinkley pleads guilty to fraud

State Sen. Rick Brinkley, R-Owasso, has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges and has resigned from the State Senate. He awaits sentencing, which could be a matter of months or more than 20 years.

Brinkley is free on bond and will be sentenced Nov. 20. He could face fines up to $250,000.

Brinkley was fired by the Better Business Bureau in April following accusations of embezzlement. The Better Business Bureau has filed a civil suit against Brinkley, alleging he stole more than $1.8 million while working there because of casino gambling and other financial problems. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has also launched a probe and further charges could come from the Tulsa County District Attorney.

Earlier this month, Brinkley settled a complaint lodged with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.  The commission opened an investigation on June 12 into allegations that Brinkley violated Ethics Rules in his 2014 campaign. The settlement agreement terminates the commission investigation.  The commission receives none of the forfeited funds – $81,265.14 from Brinkley’s campaign fund.

Brinkley was in line to be the next Senate Pro Tem.